LAS VEGAS -- Samsung has just announced that two more Wi-Fi IP cameras will join its home security roster -- the $179 SmartCam HD and the $229 SmartCam HD Outdoor. Both cameras offer 1080p streaming and wide angle lenses with 128-degree fields of view. That should mean that you will get to view crisp, clear footage of your home and the surrounding outdoor area all from a Web browser or the free Android or iOS SmartCam app.
The $179 SmartCam HD sounds very similar to the $199 DropCam Pro and to a slightly lesser extent, the $229 all-in-one security system, Piper. That makes SmartCam HD an intriguing option, but I'm especially interested in the HD Outdoor. That's because we haven't seen any DIY security systems that offer an outdoor camera.
The SmartCam HD Outdoor seems to be pretty easy to install, too, since it relies on a network cable connection rather than an outside outlet. So, the Wi-Fi hub stays inside near the router and then communicates with the camera remotely. The indoor SmartCam HD can be placed on a flat surface or mounted on a wall for flexible installation.
Both cameras use a 2MP 1/2.8-inch CMOS sensor, an IR cut filter, and offer night-vision mode. That should allow for detailed footage regardless of the lighting conditions. The HD has a 16-foot range, while the HD Outdoor has a 50-foot range.
You can opt to record on an ongoing basis or only when a security event takes place. You can also customize your settings to receive notifications when motion or sound is detected. And, there are no storage or monitoring fees associated with SmartCam.
The SmartCam HD and SmartCam HD Outdoor use local storage so footage is recorded directly to the camera on a memory card (up to 32GB). That's kind of uncommon; these cameras don't rely on remote servers and use compression tech to keep bandwidth at bay (more or less). That's why Samsung claims that "the SmartCam HD's and HD Outdoor's video is streamed using only 30 percent of the network bandwidth of other IP cameras." Both will be available in March 2014.